The Three Keys to Successful Communication
On some level, we are all social creatures. I consider myself to be a social individual, maybe even more than most. In my spare time, when not cycling, walking the dog, working on the house or fishing, I am with friends and family. Perhaps, this trait is in my blood. An introvert would shut down from social overload if placed in a room with both of my parents, and don’t even get me started with my wife’s side, the Italians! Whether extroverted, introverted or a hybrid of both – every person relies on social communication in this dynamic world of personal, phone and blue-screen interactions. My career has been a variety of highly communicative disciplines all circling business development, sales and recruiting. While I am still young-ish (jeez, thirty now), I have a strong foundation of communication that has worked for me and for those I have helped along the way.
Key 1: First and foremost, communicate in an honest, transparent and direct manner. This is non-negotiable in business, less-than-honest statements will be discovered quickly. I have witnessed the rise and fall of dozens of side-smiling and smooth-talking individuals in my career. Hell, when I was getting my feet wet, I may have even tried to butter up the truth and make things seem better than they were. It didn’t work in my favor. People can sniff out a lie, and once you lost their trust they will never do business with you again. More importantly, inflammatory statements are a huge character flaw and don’t add value to anyone, including yourself. Be direct and be honest and the path to success will begin to unfold naturally for you.
Key 2: Be authentic, relationships are not only a necessity of life but a luxury. It is crucial to be yourself and not try to replicate the persona of someone you aspire to be. I’ve seen enough salespeople try to be Jordan Belfort or Gordon Gekko (not going to lie, I was a little tempted to sell pink sheets on Wall Street at 23), it didn’t work for them. Having natural interactions helps develop a strong report with clients and co-workers. Don’t follow a script or the Forbes article that tells you the persona you need to adopt. You have one job, be effective naturally. That is how you will separate yourself from the competition and develop life-long relationships inside and outside of work. Keep it real, keep it professional, be unmistakably you.
Key 3: Be reliable and do the little things right. Staying organized doesn’t always come naturally to me, I enjoy starting and finishing projects through common sense and hitting the target with quality. The details along the way though, can be nauseating to me. I have learned the hard way that I need to pay attention to the details. I have had circumstances where I dropped the ball on a follow-up, and then conversely, where I have stayed on point with follow-through. The latter always goes a lot further. It takes way more time to build or rebuild a relationship than it does to maintain them. Being a resilient problem solver, someone that others can depend on is important. When possible, I strive to always respond to folks within an hour and have any problems resolved within 24 hours. Add value, do the little things, and be someone that can be counted on and you will see results.
I strive to continue being malleable and learning along the way, but I can confidently say these three keys are non-negotiable for me. Be transparent and honest, don’t be a pseudo – Gordon Gekko, and instill confidence in your client by being reliable.
Contributed by Bryan Ray, Business Development Manager, EV Group